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Kettlebell Swing How-To

Hey, it’s Jennifer. Today I want to talk about some tips for doing kettlebell swings.

Kettlebell swings are something I see a lot of people doing almost right, but not quite right. I just wanted to put a little PSA out there for everyone who’s doing them.

If you’re not familiar, a kettlebell swing, uses the kettlebell, and is a great exercise for your abs, your low back, your glutes. It should be more of a lower body/core exercise than an arm exercise.

One thing I see people doing a lot, is making it into an arm exercise. Instead of using your core and your lower body to get the bell up, you lift with your arms. This can tire your arms out pretty quickly. If you’re able really go slow, and you’re controlling the weight as it goes up and down, that’s a sign that you’re using your arms to lift it up and put it back down. Also, if your arms are just exhausted, that’s a good sign that you’re using your arms.

Instead of lifting with your arms, really use the hinge and your hip extension on the way up to lift that weight up. It should kind of feel like your arms aren’t really doing anything.

The other thing that I see a lot is a kettlebell swing that is more of a squat and a lift, rather than a hinge and a lift. It’s a little bit better than lifting with just the arms, but again, you’re kind of missing out on this great hip hinging power that you can generate to get the bell swinging up.

If you feel like you’re doing more of a squat and your shoulders aren’t dropping forward as you swing the bell, something to try is really dropping your shoulders, over your toes. And again, focusing on that hip extension to swing the bell up.

Give it a try at home. Let us know what you think and good luck. 

Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.